Friday, January 28, 2022

Whom The Gods Would Destroy...

DJ Ferguson is a 31-year-old Massachusetts man, a father of two children, with a third on the way.  He is in heart failure, and is being denied a heart transplant because of his refusal to get a Covid-19 vaccine.  There are only so many extra hearts floating around, and if you're vulnerable to infection from Covid, you're not a candidate to get one. 

If you're at all like Thee Optimist, you're a fan of history.

Now, much of history is a whitewash, made up by people to explain events without actually acknowledging that their forebears were violent criminals.

That's fine.  Humans are nothing if not pathological liars.

But some bits of history are good, and can be instructive about current events, if we're willing to learn.  One such bit is a phrase that in its earliest versions, is nearly as old as civilization itself.  The phrase is:

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

The earliest recorded use of this (albeit worded somewhat differently) was in the play Antigone, by the Greek tragedian Sophocles, written around 441 BC.

A later use was by the historian Procopius of Caesarea, who during the 500s AD had the enviable task of chronicling the various barbarian wars just after the collapse of the western Roman Empire.

Basically, the phrase suggests that the gods drive people insane right before running them off the rails.  One early version indicated it was in fact the sky god Jupiter who did this.  Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods, roughly equivalent to the Greek god Zeus, or the Judeo-Christian god we call "God."  

Same guy, pretty much.  Got up to a lot of the same stuff.

Do we see any evidence of people going insane around us?

Two images, taken in 2016, of a young North Carolina man and father of two, Edgar Maddison Welch.  In the first, he poses confidently (even smugly) with an AR-15 rifle.  In the second, he is surrounded by police after invading a pizzeria in Washington DC known as Comet Ping Pong.  Welch thought he was going to rescue child sex slaves from a basement dungeon there.  He didn't find any.

From PizzaGate to QAnon

In late October 2016, at the tail end of the presidential campaign, a fake Twitter account claimed that the New York City Police Department had discovered a pedophilia ring involving candidate Hillary Clinton, her campaign chair John Podesta, disgraced former US Representative Anthony Weiner, and a host of other prominent Democrats.

This sort of allegation is nothing new.  The CIA is widely believed to have used child sex slaves to entrap politicians during the MK-ULTRA mind control program of the 1950s and 1960s.  And in the late 1980s, allegations of a homosexual pedophile ring swirled around the Bush White House.  

The Bush scandal centered on Republican lobbyist Craig Spence (who later died of "suicide," leaving a cryptic final note), the famous Boys Town home in Nebraska, and Lawrence E. King, who sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the Republican National Conventions in 1984 and 1988, and who was later found guilty of looting a credit union in Omaha. 

The 2016 Clinton allegations got legs, to put it mildly.  The scandal came to be known as "PizzaGate," because the apparent headquarters of the pedophile ring was the trendy Washington DC pizzeria Comet Ping Pong, where the Clinton campaign often ordered food.

According to believers, child sex slaves were kept in a basement dungeon at the pizzeria, and late night Satanic ritual torture and sacrifices were carried out down there by prominent Democrats.  The major problem with this theory is that the water table is high where Comet Ping Pong is, and the building doesn't have a basement.  

Besides that, the theory is fine.

As time passed, PizzaGate morphed into a broader conspiracy theory known as QAnon.  QAnon became widespread during the Trump Administration, and at its peak, as many as 20% of all Americans (and more than 60% of self-described conservatives) appeared to agree with at least one of its tenets.  

QAnon acolytes believe that former president Trump is in an epic, but secret struggle against a global cannibalistic child sex ring, run by Democrats of course, but also including powerful business and entertainment elites such as George Soros and Oprah Winfrey.  

QAnon people are waiting for an apocalyptic event known as "The Storm," when Trump will finally reveal and arrest the pedophiles in charge.  Indeed, QAnon has quite a bit in common with so-called "End of Days" messianic religions.


Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran and QAnon believer, was shot and killed by Capitol Police after storming the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.  At the time of her shooting, she was attempting to break into the chambers of the House of Representatives.  On January 5, she had tweeted, "Nothing can stop us.  They can try and try, but the storm is here..."

The Fear of "Marxism"

Closely-aligned with, and sometimes overlapping the QAnon movement, as well as the Covid denial movement, is the militia movement.  Militia members in America tend to be right-leaning, and often outright fascist in their outlook.  

Militia members seem to believe that corporate-friendly Democrats like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are trying to usher in a Marxist or communist takeover of the United States.  Many believe that the takeover has already occurred.

The trouble can perhaps be traced to a misunderstanding of what the words "Marxist" and "communist" mean.  Broadly speaking, both terms refer to economic systems where ownership of industry is taken out of the hands of a tiny group of vastly wealthy capitalists, and shared among the population at large.  

Um... Not sure if this needs to be said, but nothing remotely like this is happening in the United States, and no member of the modern Democratic Party's leadership has ever suggested anything of the sort, in word or action.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Militia members also seem to believe that once the communist takeover is complete, the secret cabal running it will hand the country over to a totalitarian New World Order, which will then control the entire world.

Ah, yes.  A world controlled by one government body.  If only such a thing were possible.  Nevertheless, militias such as the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters grow their memberships and thrive on these ideas.  

In 2020, a small Michigan-based militia calling itself the Wolverine Watchmen plotted to kidnap, try, and execute Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (a Democrat) because of her totalitarian attempts to slow the spread of Covid-19 in her state.

That went far.

The January 2021 storming of the Capitol was to a large degree planned and carried out by people affiliated with QAnon, the militia movement, or both.  So far, more than 760 people have been arrested and charged with crimes from that event, with the numbers growing all the time. 

Four rioters died that day, as well as one Capitol Police officer, 42-year-old Brian Sicknick.  In the weeks that followed, four more police officers who responded to the event committed suicide.  At least one Capitol rioter committed suicide after his initial release from jail.

56-year-old Elmer Stewart Rhodes is the founder of the nationwide Oath Keepers militia.  A former Army paratrooper and lawyer, he once worked for right-wing congressman Ron Paul.  As of this writing, he is being held in federal custody in Plano, Texas, charged with Seditious Conspiracy, among other charges, for his part in organizing the January 6 riot.  If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison on the sedition charge alone. 

Words of Wisdom

"This election was stolen and this is a communist/Deep State coup, every bit as corrupt and illegitimate as what is done in third world banana republics.  We must refuse to EVER recognize this as a legitimate election, and refuse to recognize Biden as a legitimate winner, and refuse to ever recognize him as the President of the United States."

- Elmer Stewart Rhodes, November 10, 2020


  1. So what you're saying is that people who get their news from far-right sources are being misled and tend to believe utter bullshit? I think you can make a case for that theory.

    Let's see if I can make up a bullshit theory. Uh..., hmmmm. Okay, let's try this: On January 6, 2021, Rand Paul had sex with an underage pizza in the basement of the Wolverine Watchmen's abandoned headquarters so that the pizza would have a baby, who would later become future Hitler and kidnap the governor of the Michigan Militia.

    Geez, that was easier than I thought!

    1. Maybe just saying that it's good to have accurate information. I like your scenario, though. Seems right.